What to say about “scholarship”? Except that I’m definitely no expert. My therapist, Mirto, says I like to get transformed by discourses & languages, which is likely why I started eagerly learning French at age 11, when most everyone else at Mountview Middle School seemed repulsed by it. My friend Cameron has also recently let me know that I’m a Sagittarius ascending, so that seems to have played a role. Suffice it to say that I’m very glad I never again have to write a tenure / promotion statement that requires my program of research to be coherent, because it isn’t. I mean, I have some thoughts about how it all comes / came together, but it’s a pretty esoteric journey.
“Scholar” still seems an odd word to me, but my Mom likes to call me that, and that’s good enough. I didn’t go to Harvard, but once in 2001 when I was visiting it, some guy had the nerve to say to a tour group I was part of: “Welcome to the ancient and venerable fellowship of scholars!” I liked the cadence of that notion enough to let the spell of it stick around with me all these years later. But, in the end, I identify more as a writer than anything else and, left to my own vices, I’d probably spend all day sending audio memos to all my friends from Joan Didion, Mary Oliver, Carol Bly, Octavia Butler, Sarah Schulman, Joanna Klink, David Whyte, Adrienne Rich, and Annie Dillard. Yes, most of my mentors and role models are women, many of them radical, poetic, tragic, musical, or spiritual in one way or another. It’s all puzzling, but beautiful—and I am grateful to have had so many vivid ancestors and guides.
There’s a drop-down list above with different chunks of writing that have seen the light of day in one way or another. When something falls into more than one category—say it’s about trans Turkish literature, and I wrote it with a friend—it’ll show up in all four of those categories.
Lmk if you want to talk about any of this. I’m always game for a chat.